My children are the best judge of all my contradictions. Growing up is partly about accepting inconsistencies in authority as being as inevitable as those in Mother Nature Herself.

Though nature sometimes means hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and drought, Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Nature — the Gentlest Mother is,” highlights a flip side which also offers earthly mothers a bit of warmth and emotion.

Nature — the Gentlest Mother is,

Impatient of no Child —

The feeblest — or the Waywardest —

Her Admonition mild —

In Forest — and the Hill —

By Traveller —  be heard —

Restraining Rampant Squirrel —

Or too impetuous Bird —

How fair Her Conversation —

A Summer Afternoon —

Her Household — Her Assembly —

And when the Sun go down —

Her Voice among the Aisles

Incite the timid prayer

Of the minutest Cricket —

The most unworthy Flower —

When all the Children sleep —

She turns as long away

As will suffice to light Her lamps —

Then bending from the Sky —

With infinite Affection —

And infiniter Care —

Her Golden finger on Her lip —

Wills Silence — Everywhere —

The poem shows a deep level of understanding toward mothers. It starts with patience: Warmth and emotion, prerequisites to good parenting. Patience is only as good as it is unbiased. The “feeblest — or the Waywardest — ” being equally deserving. “Restraint”, when needed, doesn’t get noticed much by a “Traveller”, but on a plane trip or in the restaurant, the child certainly feels it.

The freedom of the outdoors, as depicted here in “A Summer Afternoon — ”, is not as superficial or formal as it might appear  when seated with others in a collection of lawn chairs if Mother is happy and joins in the conversation.

Mother’s “Voice” is more influential than the priest’s or pastor’s if a child is to become devout enough to murmur “the timid prayer”.

Concentrated on a child’s best interest, “When all the Children sleep — ” Mother only “turns as long away/As will suffice” to keep her own physical, emotional and spiritual batteries charged, “to light Her lamps — ”.

“Then bending” her focused attention once again to the welfare of her child, she is capable of the most important thing of all: infinite, careful “Silence”.

Digest A Poem A Day —  Accept What Comes Your Way

Advertisements